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Weekly Set Review: Black Falcon's Fortress

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Weekly Set Review: Black Falcon's Fortress

Postby architect » Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:55 pm

15 IX 03

Welcome to the weekly Classic Castle set review discussion. Please post your opinions on the set play ability, piece selection, design, etc. Which sets stand up to our catapult of critique and which ones crumble in shame!

This week’s set is 6074/10039 Black Falcon’s Fortress.

This long time favorite was originally released in 1986. The fortress features a symmetrical tower façade, back tower with yellow “Tudor”-wall panel, a drawbridge, hinge opening design, two knights, two archers, and two spearmen.

In 2003, the set was produced again as a “Legend” and is available from Shop at Home for $39.99.

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Last edited by architect on Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:32 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby INTENSS » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:21 pm

This is my first post (of many) on this site...just wanted to say nice job and good luck with it. :D I've been waiting forever for a Lego message forum type site....and a Castle one to boot. Very nice.

On to the subject....

I first got this set when I was 8 years old (1986) as a Christmas present from my parents. One of my favorites from day one. That tudor piece is a classic. I also liked the curved wall sections making the castle appear to actually have towers for a first time in the series.

To see this set come back at $39.99 from Shop @ Home was unbelievable. I snatched up a couple more and Im not done. :twisted:

I remember that when I played with it when I was younger it was a bit tough to play inside the actual castle. Always had to open it up and "pretend" it was still all sealed up. The Knights castle had the same problem....though the monstorous Kings castle had no such drawback.

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Postby architect » Tue Sep 16, 2003 2:40 pm

Ok, here is my review of the Black Falcon's Fortress. I did not have this castle when I was younger, but I do own it now. I have a bias toward the "lions" or King's Men.

That aside, this is an awesome set. The corner castle wall panels are used to make two rounded gate towers. I love it! I also really like the back "tower" room with the tudor wall and black roof. Plus, this castle is appropriately full of soldiers. No skimping on manpower like King Leo's Castle. There is also a wonderful selection of bricks in the set to provide hours of building other castles.

I might have added a winch for the drawbridge. But that is it. Overall, Black Falcon's Fortress is a superb set and a worthy adversary of the King's Castle.

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Postby Jojo » Tue Sep 16, 2003 8:09 pm

Hello!


This set 6074 has always been my most favourite model besides 6067. So LEGO met exactly my liking with these re-releases.

The Black Falcon's Fortress itself is a nice castle that differed from its "predecessors" 6073 and 6080 in its unique shape: No other castle has such massive looking towers guarding the gate. Also the asymmetry of the single Tower/building on the rearside is unique. (At least it was unique in pre-rised-baseplate-times.) And there is no castle except the Yellow Castle that doesn't have a jail or dungeon.
This last fact leads me to the conclusion that the BFF was meant to be the inner yard of a bigger castle built with all of the modular castle wall sets. There was no demand for another jail because 6073 already had one. Also there are these Technic 1x2 bricks on the BBF's sides that must have a meaning:

Image


Besides it's a beautiful model the BFF has great parts, too. Twelve light grey corner wall parts and four black 75° corner slopes are almost sufficient reasons to buy the set. Amongst those always useful parts it comes with many arches, castlewall elements, slopes and of course with four Black Falcon figs, knights and horses.

Unfortunatelly only the two cavaliers carry shields, it would have been nice if the spearmen also carried BF shields.

The original set 6074 came with three additional arches to be built in alternatively in the rear tower:

Image

The re-released 10039 doesn't include these arches so that it's impossible to build the castle in the way it's in the photo on the last page of the instructions with only the bricks that are in the box. But that's just a little complaint. 10039 Black Falcon's Fortress is worth every Dollar/Euro you spend on it.


Bye
Jojo

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Postby dookie » Thu Sep 18, 2003 6:33 am

Well, I did have the original set back when I was around 5 or 6 and all that remains is the Yellow Castle Wall :D. Can't remember much about it but I do plan to buy one of these ASAP.

Anyways, a review based on whatever I can pull from my childhood experience with it.

The Yellow Castle Wall piece definitely adds an interesting eye candy for almost anything you can build whatever the theme. I have been using that piece in most of my 200-themes-in-one-MOC structures. The hinge concept was introduced to me with the BFF set as well as many basic but necessary castle building techniques.

That's all I remember, now I'll try a review based on first looks of the re-issue:

OMG! I had this back then, see the yellow piece!!! (Referring to the BFF entry in the LSH catalog). Yes, the Yellow-Tudor-Castle-Wall-thing is one of my favorite pieces, which may explain why it has stood against the test of time; I don't think I can find another piece that is as old as my precious yellow wall, which, unfortunately, my brother claims as an absurd piece to have among the monotonous castle pieces.

6 Minifigures!!! I don't recall Lego including that many minifigures in a 40 dollar set lately. I absolutely love the black falcon insignia but too bad there isn’t enough of it. Two extra shields would be nice as well as some spare swords for the archers to defend themselves when they run out of ammo or the enemy is closing in fast.

A plethora of grey pieces, with the amount of castle walls and grey bricks especially a the 1x2 bricks that allow seamless connection of castle walls, I'd like to think that this is the true Castle Expander Pack unlike #3732 that consists only of arches and pointy slopes. Thing about it, when expanding your MOC castle, which comes in handy, a surplus of arches or some neat castle walls and bricks not to mention a 6 men army to boot. Sure it's nearly ten times the price of #3732 but you're getting castle pieces that are better than arches and blue slopes from King Leo's Disneyland castle.

I'm not saying that the design itself is bad when I was suggesting this as a castle expansion. I suggested the BFF as an expansion kit because I know there are a lot of young Lego fans out there who might not be fond of the Legend because of the simplistic pieces employed in the set (my little brother for example). To me, the design looks flawless. Hinged parts allow the castle to open up and give better access to all areas. A walk around the perimeter and the castle looks good on all sides unlike certain castles that have their rear sides unprotected. I have to mention the uber Yellow-Tudor-Castle-Wall one more time as one of the coolest pieces ever made; and only two sets have it, the BFF and the Black Knight's Castle. This is an absolutely stunning piece that you must have in your collection, even if you dislike the castle theme.

Could it use a baseplate? I wouldn't mind the use of a couple of 8x16s which will add more value to the BFF as a Castle-Expanding pack as well as add more studs to stick the minifigures around. A winch? That'd be nice but I'm sure many fans would disapprove of it so maybe as an extra/optional piece so you can crank the drawbridge up and down (I know I'm going to install a winch when I get my BFF).

Like what Jojo said, it's definitely worth every (insert currency here) you spend, as long as you're paying MSRP :D
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Postby Lego Knight Matt » Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:37 pm

Well theres too reasons why i didnt buy this set first time round,
1) i was a year old in 1986
2) even if i had been old enough money was tight then

So i bought the re-release now i actually have cash to spend :D
this is a brilliant castle set, one of the few that didnt have un-necersery features like dungeons and such, it's exactly what it says on the box, a fortress with a good garrison of 4 Black falcons (one of my personal favorite figs) and two nights, as mentioned earlier, sets like king leos were undermaned ;).

As for parts, few are better alot of useful curved wall pieces, nice doors, many arches and some damn handy plates
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Postby Bruce N H » Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:03 pm

Could I raise a negative voice here without being burned at the stake? I'm actually very opposed to the panel wall pieces, and those pieces I have are at the bottom of my unused parts bin.* So castles that use a lot of these pieces don't really excite me that much. Of course, if I actually bought one of these I'm sure I would think it was a fun model. For parts, though, I'd rather get a big pile of bulk gray bricks.

Bruce

*I do have the Western theme Fort Legoredo, and think it's a pretty awesome set, even though it depends on a large number of those log wall panel pieces. I have made use of those in my Edoras:
http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=349393
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Postby Troy » Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:00 am

Bruce N H wrote:*I do have the Western theme Fort Legoredo, and think it's a pretty awesome set, even though it depends on a large number of those log wall panel pieces. I have made use of those in my Edoras:
http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=349393


Just a quick technical note for those that may not know: It is possible to use inline images here simply by using the "Img" button above the text box when posting a message. Just click the button, paste in the link, then click the button again. Just be sure that you are using a "deep link" to the picture (will have a .jpg extension) and not to the Brickshelf gallery page.

It will look like this:
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Postby David Girard » Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:32 pm

I'm a bit later for the week review.

I like the way Jojo put the sets together. I was always wondering what was the use of the two brick 1x2 with hole (3700) in the side of 6074. The way you put all the sets is probably the most otimal way to put them together.

I didn't notice the supplement demi-arcs (2339) in the back. I didn't know it was their purpose.

I learned many things on this forum.

This is a very nice castle. The only minor thing that a dislike, is the lack of big plate on the base of the castle. I'm sure they were able to put some big plate. Not like the baseplate on 6080, but somes 6x10 or 6x8 plate. However this is a very very nice castle set. One of their best.
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Postby David Girard » Wed Oct 01, 2003 5:41 pm

I like a lot how you put the sets together, Jojo.
6040, 6041, 6061, 6062, 6067, 6073 and 6074.

But that not the way I want to make it.

I made a first castle with 6073, 6061, 6040.
I made a second one with 6074, 6062, 6041 and 6067.
So all the modulars sets from 1984-1985 together, and 1986-1987 in another. That make 2 cities in this world.
You can add others falcons sets with there respectives castles 6011, 6021 and 6030 in the first castle because they are from 1984-1985.

This make an utility to the set 6010 Supply wagon, and explain why he have a sword on his hand. He travel between the 2 cities. He buy weapons and materiels from 6040 Blacksmith, and go to sell them at 6041 Armor Shop.

What do you think of it.
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Postby rogue27 » Wed Oct 01, 2003 6:49 pm

Great set, great parts, good number of minifigs, good value for it's price.

My only complaint is that they raised the price from $35 to $40 and then took out the extra arches used in the alternate model.

I suppose the price increase was to be expected, but it would have been great if they at least left the extra arches in the box.
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Postby dookie » Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:08 am

Not wishing to make a new topic, but anyone have any idea on when Lego will stop production of the Legends BFF?
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Postby wlister » Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:52 am

Well I was about to become a teenager when this puppy came out, but fortunatly I was not in my dark ages yet. I remember picking this set up at The Bay on a 50% off sale. Even at the age I was, I knew this set rocked, I bought 3. :D The corner walls, the arches, the printed flag and the much praised tudor wall panel all made this an excellent set. When this set was re-released as a Legend, I sold off most of my Ninja army just to pick up another 4 sets. I have yet to incorporate the tudor panel into a MOC yet, but once my move is done you can be sure I will. With this set re-released, the possibilities of a large Falcon army has become a reality. I am just hoping I will have the funds to buy the next castle Legend.
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Postby Formendacil » Fri May 27, 2005 4:48 pm

Continuing my revival of ancient set discussion threads, we now come to the BFF. The Black Falcon's Fortress, as it is more properly to be called, is such a popular set that I'm surprised no one else has dug it up yet...

The re-release of this set was probably the biggest thing that happened to me in official releases in the new millennium. A decently-priced castle with two knights, four soldiers (and Black Falcons at that!!!), a great designs and pretty much all grey. No namby-pamby blacks here!

Beyond relating my personal elation at the release of the set (then extended to my elation at the purchase of the set), there is little that I can say that hasn't been already said. It's an excellent set, and well worth the money. If I ever get the chance, I'll buy more.

Parts: 9/10
Playability: 8.5/10
Figs/Accessories: 7.5/10
Design (then): 8.5/10
Design (now): 9.5/10
Nostalgia: 8/10

Overall Score: 8.5/10
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Postby Dragonlord Esq. » Fri May 27, 2005 7:39 pm

Do you see this? Six guys in a small castle. That should be standard. I like the color selection in this set, and the tower in the back is a nice touch. I may be a bit biased, since this was my first castle, but... 8.5/10.
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